Monday, September 26, 2011
A Lucky Fellow
I wake up every morning and the room's a little smaller. Walls are creeping in. The ceiling's thinking it over. I limp to the window and it's a porthole that looks on nothing but icebergs.
It's a good room, though. The landlord drinks a bit and you can fool with him. The old ladies he worries like a dog worries a shoe, hair trigger, 'cause they haven't anything but money for him, and they ain't got any of that very often, either. But you find a pint for him now and then, or lift a couple cigars off the counter at the station when the worker bee's making change and you're jake for another month with the guy.
I tried quitting the smokes, but what's the use? It's the only currency in the world now. The only manners a man can have. I got smart and got matches and always kept 'em on me, and the swells never seem to have one and they'll give you a coffin nail for a light every time. Get the empty packs from the barrels and fill 'em back up and pretty soon you're rolling in it.
Once upon a time you could go to the railyard with a gunney and pick up the steam coal that bounced from the cars. Just pennies at the coal and ice, but just pennies is all you need in this world. Now the kids don't bother with school anymore and they're too close to the ground to have a chance against. They waste the money on their mothers. Until they grow up and the army harvests them like they did their dads a man's got to find another way.
I'm a lucky fellow. There's always another way for a lucky fellow.